Pune Warriors India v Kolkata Knight Riders IPL Live Preview
The Match: The Kolkata Knight Riders will travel to the Dr. DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai for their penultimate game against the Pune Warriors India. This is the 65th game of the IPL and the fourth-last day of the league stage of the tournament.
How the two teams match up: It is not as if the Pune Warriors India have to win this game, given that they are already out of the race for making it to the next stage of the tournament. However, there are those sub-plots within the main storyline that could make this one interesting.
For one, there is the Sourav Ganguly saga. Ganguly was the captain of Kolkata till the previous year but was dumped out and picked up by Pune this season. Ganguly will have a point or two to prove to the opponents.
Then, there is a case for the points table. Kolkata have 14 points from 12 games while their closest rivals are Punjab, with 14 from 13. A loss for Kolkata will put them at par with Punjab and will translate into the side needing to win the last game against the Bangalore team – a difficult exercise given how the side has played. Punjab is only playing Deccan Chargers in their last game.
Ground Conditions: It should be an even track with a reasonable bounce and carry for the bowlers. The batsmen, if they can bat through, will have a field day.
The Teams: It is interesting to note that the Pune Warriors have a batting line-up that, on paper is one of the better ones. The way they have performed so far, though, it is easy to say that they have been at their worst – the top order has been toppled almost as regularly as every other game and the likes of Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh and Jesse Ryder have been woefully short of runs.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have done a decent job but the good thing is that they have had a nice break leading up to their last two league games. That would have allowed the side to focus on the task on hand and get moving.
Jacques Kallis and Eoin Morgan need to bat well at the top of the innings though. >
Players to look out for: The Kolkata Knight Riders will hope for a big half-century from Yusuf Pathan even as the Pune Warriors look to get Alfonso Thomas back into the playing eleven to strengthen their bowling.
Prediction: Kolkata will look to win this game but the Ganguly presence may cause them the issues.
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